An analysis of some products sold at dollar stores like Dollar Tree and Dollarama in Canada has been found to contain toxic heavy metals as well as “forever chemicals,” referring to “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances” (PFAs) that tend to stick around in the soil, atmosphere, and rainwater for a long time.
The study, published by Environmental Defence, was done on products purchased from the two stores in Toronto in 2021. Researchers tested microwave popcorn bags from Dollar Tree, food can linings from Dollarama, household items, electronics, toys, and thermal cash register receipts from both the stores for heavy metals, PVC, PFAs, bisphenols, and phthalates.
All cash register receipts contained bisphenol-S (BPS), an organic compound known to potentially increase the expression of breast cancer carcinogens. BPS has also been linked to impairment in neural function, insulin resistance, and irregular vascular function in children.
Children’s ProductsProducts targeting children were identified as containing high toxic levels of heavy metals in hidden components, which the report notes were not regulated as external components—a loophole that has been exploited by the stores.
For instance, hidden components in earbuds were found to have lead levels 8,000 times the external limit on the metal. In activity trackers, this was 2,600 times the limit.
This lack of regulation for internal lead within children’s products fails to recognize the real use scenario of such items like kids sucking or chewing on the items, which exposes them to toxicity. Dollar stores make use of this gap in regulation to sell items containing high lead levels without breaking any laws, said the report.
Dollarama’s ResponseIn an emailed statement to The Epoch Times, a Dollarama spokesperson said that the report includes “numerous incorrect assumptions.”
“The four Dollarama products identified in the report (stereo headphones, earbuds, a pencil pouch and an activity tracker) all meet applicable Canadian product regulations and are safe to use for their intended purposes. Our cash register receipts, also identified in the report, are BPA free and are safe to handle by our employees and customers.”
Sixty-six percent of items from Five Below, 60 percent from Dollar Tree, 49 percent from Family Dollar, 44 percent from 99 Cents Only, and 38 percent of items from Dollar General that were tested were found to contain COC above the screening level.